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City Theatre

Ferdinand Fellner, Hermann Helmer

alias Stadttheater, Kärntner Grenzlandtheater (Carintia Border Country Theatre, 1938–1945), Kaiser-Franz-Josef I.-Jubiläumstheater (Emperor Franz-Josef I. Jubilee theatre, 1910–1938)
history of the theatresupplementtechnical dataHistoric equipment

Important events

(detail)22.9. 1910 | Opening night
The new theater was opened by performance Wilhelm Tell by Friedrich Schiller.
(detail)1998 | Reconstruction
Reconstruction took place between 1996 and 1998,according the design by  Günther Domenig. (Demolition of annexes built in the 1960's and erection of additional buildings for artists’ cloakrooms, rehearsal rooms, workshops, administrative offices, installations rooms and other auxiliary functions, reconstruction of the 1910 appearance).

People

Ferdinand Fellner |main architect, architect
(detail)Hermann Helmer |main architect, architect
The phenomenon of the architects Fellner and Helmer would be difficult to capture with only one building. Their work consisted of continual, although somewhat stereotypical, work in terms of style. They placed a great emphasis on achieving the technical-operational needs of theatre buildings. They created a large number of theatres (mainly national theatres) in Central Europe - Austria, Croatia, Romania, the Czech Republic, etc.More theatres

Günther Domenig |architect
(detail)Eduard Felix Veith |painter

He belongs among representatives of Realism of the end of 19th century. It is possible to find his frescoes or paintings in Bucharest, Paris, Berlin, Vienna, but in Ostrava, Prague, Łańcut, Brno and Nový Jičín as well. He created a painted curtain and eight ceiling paintings in Prague German Theatre (today’s State opera). He also participated on interior decoration of theatres in Ostrava, Brno, Berlin, Vienna or Prague Rudolfinum.

In: http://www.amaterskedivadlo.cz/main.php?data=opona&id=151

More theatres

Franz Vogel |sculptor
Josef Kassin |sculptor

History

The building of contemporary theatre was constructed  between 1605 and 1620 as a ballroom for the aristocracy  and served their social entertainment. Because Klagenfurt is just on the half way on a voyage from Venice to Vienna , travelling  Italian actors performed plays as they stopped on their way. The ballroom was therefore more and more integrated into the Austrian theatre of the 17th and 18 Century and was converted into a theatre house in stages. The actual opening as a theatre took place in 1737.

In 1908 emperor Franz Josef I celebrated sixtieth anniversary of his government, and this event offered all crown lands the occasion to celebrate this days in a special way, as it was the habit of all loyal citizens. Klagenfurt also decided to participate equally in providing awards for the emperor. As part of a great anniversary campaign, the long awaited new theatre should have been established. The project was carried out  by the Viennese architects Fellner and Helmer .

The stock of the theatre of Klagenfurt is one of the typical theatres of the architects Helmer and Fellner, and this is visible in the typology, in the organizational structure, the interior quality, interior and exterior architectural style of his time and ultimately in the overall composition, which includes the surrounding space. For this, his 49th theatre, Helmer moved just an existing plan from its rich registry and it seems as if he had not even taken the trouble to make any corrections. 
 

Significant reconstructions took place from 1996 to 1998, which was carried out by architect Günther Domenig, who chose a radical solution for the new administrative section of the theatre building. Planned and designed with ArchiCAD, the project introduces a dramatic floating axial cantilever while respecting the building’s original form.

The Klagenfurt City Theatre project won an Austrian competition in May 1995. Günther Domenig created the interior and exterior perspective views with ArchiCAD. ArchiCAD‘s dedication to architecture offers a high level of flexibility in planning. The 3D model serves as the basis for the detailed drawings and at the same time allows the architects, in a short period of time, to understand the complex building thoroughly.

Originally, the building’s shape was strictly axial, but its symmetry had been broken by an extension built in the 1960s. The new project was to add a staff entrance area, two wings, and access to a park. Domenig’s idea was to remove the 1960s extension of the building and to develop new construction conforming to the axial design of the original elements. Several functional aspects had to be taken into consideration: the new wing was to be the home of the administration, the workshops, the technical staff and the artists. Connected to the old building, it houses the stage sets and provides a new entrance to the stage.

Both eastern cross naves have been replaced by joints. The lateral closing masses are attached to the main building and respect its proportions. Beyond the entrance area, a lighting cavity placed crosswise borders the park surrounding the whole structure. The most powerfully expressive architectural element is the floating cantilever reinforcing the main axis. The cantilever’s roof, bending and protruding over the park, is made of a noncorroding alloy of copper and bronze, built on the existing steel framework over the stage.

The mass as a whole is an integrated unit, unifying interior and exterior space, structure and material. The cantilever, by contrast, is an architectural sculpture, the protrusion a combination of tension and relaxation. The elements around this wing are the joints of the oblique glass staircases attached on the east side and the bays of windows finely coated with metal elements, reflecting the existing facades. According to Jurgen Rogener, CAD manager at Günther Domenig Architects. The architectural nature of ArchiCAD offers great flexibility in planning, which allows us to use the 3D model to develop floor plans and working drawings of the complex project simultaneously in a short time.

 

This text is a compilation of the articles from these web sites :

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stadttheater_Klagenfurt

http://www.graphisoft.com/community/success_stories/klagenfurt.html

 

Literature:

– Hans-Christoph Hoffmann, Die Theaterbauten von Fellner und Helmer, München 1966, pp. 103–104 and fig. 131–135

– Gerhard M. Dienes (ed.), Fellner & Hellmer: Die Architekten der Illusion. Theaterbau und Bühnenbild in Europa, Graz 1999, pp. 167–169

– Carsten Jung, Historische Theater in Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz, Berlin–München 2010, p. 121

 

Tags: Art Nouveau, Belle Époque, Fellner and Helmer, Fin de siècle

 

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